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BOTSWANA WALKING & MOBILE SAFARIS

WALKING SAFARIS

Walking safaris are an active and far more intense style of safari. At the same time, it offers a feeling of freedom that you may never experience again, freedom in one of the wildest places in the world. It is considered the purest form of safari you can experience in today’s world and allows you to relive some of the first explorers of Africa’s day to day experiences

All Botswana Walking safaris are led by an armed guide and accompanied by a backup guide, when there are more than two walking guests.Depending on the location of the walk, it may also involve a tracker to accompany the group.

The walking is not considered a ‘stroll’ in the park, as walks often include tracking wildlife, crossing difficult terrain and reaching our set goals for the day, which may mean reaching the next camp for the night. The aim is to utilize wilderness not used by other people, not a footprint to be seen or a car track to be walked over. Each walking safari itinerary  is tailor made according to your walking ability and additional safari requests.

Walking in the African wilderness and experiencing everything up close and personal give a whole new feeling to African and what it beauty has to offer. From walking in wild concession in luxury lodges or walking from comfortable mobile safari.On a “Walking Safari” you will return to the stationary camp each night.

 

MOBILE SAFARIS

‘For an authentic safari, it is difficult to beat a mobile – the original form of this quintessential African adventure. Sleeping in the wild on a mobile safari, with nothing but a piece of canvas between you and Africa’s wildlife, may not be for everyone, but it makes for a fully immersive experience’. – James Gifford (The Lonely Planet)

So what is a mobile safari?

A mobile safari is exactly what it sounds like – a journey through a variety of different wildlife habitats, staying for a few nights in each area. When you move location, your camp moves with you.

A mobile safari is essentially a privately guided travel adventure where you are accompanied by your Professional Guide and camp assistants in a private safari vehicle with a fully equipped trailer and/or with a back-up/set up vehicle in very remote wonderful National parks or Game reserves or the best possible area for the right time of the year to see the best possible wild life viewing.

Each campsite is simply a designated, secluded area of bush with neither facilities nor fences. Before your arrival and after your departure, there is no trace that anyone has stayed there, and the wildlife is free to wander through camp at any time. ‘…it is amazing to watch the camp disintegrate during breakfast, only for it to reappear in time for sun-downers in a completely different location.’ In the evening, watch amber flames lick hungrily at the charred logs of the campfire as the lilting chimes of miniscule reed-frogs and vociferous crickets float through the cool night air. If you listen closely, you might hear a zebra braying in the distance, an elephant’s trumpet of displeasure or even a rasping, saw-like cough resonating from the inky darkness – the unforgettable call of a leopard patrolling its territory.

The sounds of the bush become more vivid when there is no barrier between you and the wildlife, particularly in the absence of any auditory distractions. Without the monotonous drone of a permanent camp’s generator nor any of the background noise inherent in the operation of such lodges you will find yourself listening to sounds you never imagined existed. And when everything goes quiet, the silence is so intense, it feels almost oppressive. Although activities are similar to a traditional lodge – morning and afternoon wildlife drives, interspersed with the occasional mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) journey or boat cruise – the intimacy of the operation gives you more flexibility.

Normally a mobile safari will involve just one wildlife-viewing vehicle, allowing you to stay out for as long as you like without having to worry about being late for meals. On a mobile, the camp timings revolve around you, not the other way around. Having the same guide for the duration of the trip also allows the focus of the safari to be tailored to the group’s specific interests, which can be adapted according to what you see. This avoids the possibility of listening to different guides repeat the same information or spending longer than desired at similar sightings at different lodges ­– sometimes an unavoidable consequence of sharing a vehicle with other lodge guests.

For eco-conscious travelers, one of the attractions of a mobile is your reduced carbon footprint. Traveling between locations is done by vehicle instead of the small planes that are used to transfer between lodges, which also gives you the opportunity to watch the subtle changes in scenery as you move from one ecosystem to another. In the camp itself, lanterns are often solar-powered, and camera and phone charging is done with an inverter linked to your vehicle’s battery.

Areas of operation in include community wildlife concessions throughout Northern Botswana’s Okavango Delta and the Kgalagadi. Walking is not permitted in National Parks or Game Reserves, thus the areas that border these protected areas are utilized. Additionally, mobile safari and walking safaris are also operated out of a private concession in the western Okavango Delta.

3 "Walker Levels"

The categories  below are used to set itineraries for guests, as each area will be more suitable to a specific type of walker and safari goer. Additional activities such as boating, game drives and canoeing will also determine the areas that we select. All tailor-made walking safaris use mobile safari camps as the basis for accommodation with the addition of a night or two in a selected lodge that fits in with the walking trail.

STROLLERS: Interested in leisurely walks of up to 1 – 2 hours per day, with game drives and other activities during the rest of the time. The walks will include a stroll along a water way or to a waterhole returning to camp or stopping at a designated pick up site.

HIKERS: Dedicated walkers, able to do 3 – 4 hours of walking at a time at least once per day, with game drives and other activities during the rest of the time. This allows out walkers to get some tracking of game under their belts and put some distance under their feet as they explore the wilderness around camp. Unless a designated pick up spot is previously arranged walkers will return to camp typically for lunch and continue safari activities for the rest of the day.

EXPLORERS: Avid and fit walkers, able to do up to 6 – 7 hour of walking per day if needed. Breaks will on certain days be taken out in the bush only returning to camp at the end of the day. For walking itineraries that include walking from one camp location to another we will require explorer walkers. Minimal to no game drives are included in this style of walking unless specifically arranged. Night drives can be arranged depending on the area that we are in.

Adventure Camping

High density foam mattresses sit on raised ‘cots’ inside your two-man dome tents. You won’t even know that you are not in your bed at home, except for the incredible night sounds of the African bush that lull you to sleep. Don’t fret about those nippy nights as you will be accompanied in bed with a hot water bottle to keep the chill away. Tents are equipped with a rechargeable light that will provide ample lighting inside your tent for before sunrise or after sunset needs.

The en-suite tents boast a spacious bathroom space attached to the back of your two-man dome (10’ x 10’) tent. The bathroom is open to the sky, providing you great views of the magnificent trees and starry nights while showering. Bathrooms are equipped with a shower, long drop toilet and table for your ablution needs. Steamy hot water is most certainly a necessity, whether it be in your bucket showers or in the raised canvas basins in front of your tent, for washing hands, brushing your teeth or washing the dust from your feet. For relaxing at your tent, canvas director chairs are provided for you to fully immerse yourself in the natural setting of your camp.

Your very own safari chef will make sure that not a moment of the day goes past that you think about food before it thinks of you. Breakfast includes a hot option, as well as cereals and yoghurt, lunches are buffet style with a selection of salads, pies or fresh breads, topped off with high tea in the afternoon, catering to the sweet tooth in us all, finishing the day off with a three course dinner under the starry night sky. Let’s not forget the snacking opportunities provided during the day in the form of a coffee stop in the morning and a sundowner snack is the afternoon.

Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, juice and water are provided throughout this style of safari, always served cold unless specifically wanted otherwise. Our safari vehicles are also equipped to charge all your ‘bells and whistles’ that you need to capture those sacred memories of your amazing safari in Botswana.

Luxury Camping

On this level of safari, a Sahara tent is provided. These spacious tents are equipped with full on beds, luxurious linen, extra pillows and a standing wardrobe. Large windows provide amazing views of the landscape around you, as well as any wildlife activity that may pass your way. Attached to your tent is a spacious en-suite bathroom, fitted with a long drop toilet and washing facilities including a basin with running water and a bucket shower, with an extra big shower head for your showering enjoyment. Our long drop toilet is also a super lux version with a wooden toilet seat with a flushing handle.

The lux bathroom is uncovered providing each and every opportunity for you to enjoy nature around you. Situated on your veranda is a vanity table together with basin and running water.

Also outside your tent is a relaxing area just for yourselves, with comfortable chairs and a small table to store your reading material or binoculars on as you enjoy the wilderness around you.

Your very own safari chef will make sure that not a moment of the day goes past that you think about food before it thinks of you. Breakfast includes a hot option, baked option, as well as cereals and yoghurt, lunches are buffet style with a selection of salads, pies or fresh breads followed by a cheese board, topped off with high tea in the afternoon, catering to the sweet tooth in us all, finishing the day off with a three course dinner under the starry night sky. On one of the nights on safari, the desert will take place in the form of a wine and chocolate pairing, something our guests rage about! Let’s not forget the snacking opportunities provided during the day in the form of a coffee stop in the morning and a sundowner snack is the afternoon. To step up the coffee experience, we are able to provide our guests with cappuccino, espresso or latte’s, together with a good selection of coffee options, with mostly African based beans. To spice up the sundowners, a cocktail afternoon is included, just to add a bit of variety for your drinking pleasure.

Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, juice and water are provided throughout this style of safari, always served cold unless specifically wanted otherwise. For our super lux guests, we also provide specialized alcoholic beverages such as limoncello and flavored gin’s.

Safari vehicles are also equipped to charge all your ‘bells and whistles’ that you need to capture those sacred memories of your amazing safari in Botswana.

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